The Hoxton Grill was taken over by the Soho House group way back in 2009 - and a couple of years on, its still one of the better bets for a casual bite in Shoreditch. It scores highly, firstly because of the convenient location, and secondly, and much more importantly, because while its cool enough, it's not too cool to get in the way of serving you up a couple of decent plates of food and sending you off again into the night sated.
And the (all-important) look and feel of the place? With its curved red leather banquettes surrounded by a collection of round tables, its a classic grill layout offset by a more industrial-style décor of exposed air-conditioning units and chrome piping. Rumbles of music drift through from the bar, where hotel guests mingle with an assortment of Shoreditch types easing their way into a Friday night, and an army of young, friendly staff patrol the perimeter making frequent darts in to serve the tables (a little over-insistently, at times on ELLEuk's last visit we were asked whether we wanted water on no fewer than four separate occasions).
What the Hoxton Grill definitely doesnt do is haute cuisine. What it does do is good, old-fashioned comfort food. And great value comfort food at that (with a couple of main courses like an artery-busting macaroni cheese coming in under the tenner threshold). We ate hush puppies (polenta croquettes with warm cheese sauce) followed by a fabulous New York Strip steak the size of a paving slab with chips and a side of the speciality barbecue sauce. Rhubarb crumble and cheesecake with blood orange were both absolutely fine. Nothing out of this world, but enormously satisfying all the same.
But to complain about the lack of fine dining on offer at the Hoxton Grill would be to miss the point entirely. Its absolutely perfect for a buzzy, stomach-lining start to a long night out in Shoreditch. If youre lucky youll be rolling back in later to one of those famous (and elusive) £1 beds the Hoxton Hotel does. If youre lucky
The ELLEuk Rating
Good for: Quick bite after work; Group dinner; Work lunch/dinner
Style of food: American diner-style comfort food
Prices and Other Details at Hoxton Grill
Address: 81 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3HU UK
Average price per person for two-course meal without wine: £13.50 for 2 courses
Price of bottle of house wine: £12.50
Price of glass of house wine: £5
Price of glass house champagne: N/A
Price of bottle house champagne: £8.75
Private dining? Yes
Garden/al fresco dining? Yes
Best table? The booths are great for people-watching especially the one in the far corner
Who goes? A favourite with bands, actors, locals, Hoxton hipsters and media types
Nearest tube: Old Street is five minutes walk away